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Re: Advice for a New Company?
Interesting question - good discussion-starter. To me, I'd put more focus on the software and overall user experience than hardware and looks. There's so little you can do with the design of a phone, I'd just make sure that the design of the phone didn't detract at all from the overall experience. I think the size would be between 5 and 5.5 inches - that seems to be the sweetspot now. Nothing earth-shattering with the design though. To me, you have more to lose than to gain by trying to do something out of the box with the design.
From there, I'd think about software features and things people would want to use, but more importantly, things people would benefit from. What are things that would be beneficial to users that they don't have to think about? A small example of this is the Battery Monitor app that I use. I only use it because it puts the numerical percentage of my remaining battery up in the status bar - it's perfect because it gives me what I want with zero effort, it blends in, and it's natural. That's kind of a simplistic example, but that's the principle I'm talking about. Add features that are helpful/beneficial, but that require little or no effort to get to.
I think a bigger way to make this a reality would be to embed features similar to Tasker into the OS. That's such a powerful tool. How often am I turning sound on/off when I go to certain places, or toggling WiFi on/off, or sending messages to people at routine times? Finding ways to automate routine tasks would be hugely beneficial, IMO. Obviously, there are ways to do this now, but they require app purchases/downloads. If I was building a phone, I'd try to build those features into the OS.
I also think the always listening feature in the Moto X is fantastic. Now, I don't own a Moto X, nor have used it, so I don't know how functional it is in reality, but it seems like a really practical and useful feature. I like the "OK Google" voice command on the Nexus 5, but I have to turn on the phone and get past the lock screen before I can use it. That's too much effort for something like that - if my hands are free enough to turn on the phone and enter my password to unlock the phone, then I'm probably in a place where I can get to what I need just as quickly/easily as using the voice command. It's a nice idea, but it's not totally practical, so I don't use it very often. Having the ability to send a text or start a phone call without having to touch the phone at all would be a huge benefit to me.
I can't think of anything else along those lines right now, but that's the mindset I'd try to adopt: useful features that require minimal effort to use.